Classic 1965 Mustang gets Pioneer Apple CarPlay treatment, we ride shotgun

Following the launch of Apple CarPlay, the new system is expected in the Pioneer car head units some time over the summer, with an announcement from the company that it would be rolling out a software update to some of its current devices already on the market.

The move allows users to retro-fit Apple's CarPlay into their current vehicle without having to go and buy a branding new Ferrari, for example.

READ: What is Apple CarPlay and when can you get it?

At Apple's annual WWDC developer conference, Apple and Pioneer showed us what we can expect the experience to be like, in a classic 1965 Ford Mustang.

There are five head units in Pioneer's CarPlay range, starting with the £570 AVH-8600BT and going all the way up to the £1000 AVIC-F60DAB.

Although they currently aren't shipping with the CarPlay software, the company has promised an update some time this summer that iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5S owners can take advantage of.

In the Mustang the huge head unit does jar somewhat with the simple and raw looking dash, but will deliver you a number of entertainment, navigational, and communication functions.

In the case of our demo model, the display had been fitted beneath the main dash area, the iPhone stored in the glove compartment and a microphone by the sunvisor so you can deliver voice commands via Siri.

Our demo time was brief this time around (we've already played with it extensively in a Ferrari and a Volvo at the Geneva Motor Show) bu we can clearly see the benefits if you are an Apple iPhone user.

Siri integration means you can bark your orders to the device without having to take your eyes off the road, whether that's asking to call someone, dictating a text message, or merely asking to change the music.

Apple has also included Apple Maps rather than Google Maps for navigation, much to the chagrin of many, and although we weren't able to see beyond the first screen of apps available, the inclusion of an MLB.com At Bat icon suggests that you'll be able to add further apps for listening to your favourite sports channels and so on.

There is also a useful podcast feature for those long boring drives when music doesn't cut it.

In practice and the Siri integration seemed to work well, although our Apple demo guy insisted that the doors needed to be closed for the best performance. That left us wondering how the system would perform on a motorway or with the top down in a convertible, but until we get a car out on the road we are going to reserve judgement.

While many drivers might struggle to find the space to put the Pioneer systems in their car, those that do will get the benefit of being able to use their iPhone, to some extent, while still driving, and for many, that day can't come soon enough.



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